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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Nov 20;23(33):8512-9. Epub 2005 Oct 31.

Colorectal cancer surveillance: 2005 update of an American Society of Clinical Oncology practice guideline.

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  • 1American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol. 2006 Mar 1;24(7):1224.



To update the 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology guideline on colorectal cancer surveillance.


Based on results from three independently reported meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials that compared low-intensity and high-intensity programs of colorectal cancer surveillance, and on recent analyses of data from major clinical trials in colon and rectal cancer, the Panel recommends annual computed tomography (CT) of the chest and abdomen for 3 years after primary therapy for patients who are at higher risk of recurrence and who could be candidates for curative-intent surgery; pelvic CT scan for rectal cancer surveillance, especially for patients with several poor prognostic factors, including those who have not been treated with radiation; colonoscopy at 3 years after operative treatment, and, if results are normal, every 5 years thereafter; flexible proctosigmoidoscopy [corrected] every 6 months for 5 years for rectal cancer patients who have not been treated with pelvic radiation; history and physical examination every 3 to 6 months for the first 3 years, every 6 months during years 4 and 5, and subsequently at the discretion of the physician; and carcinoembryonic antigen every 3 months postoperatively for at least 3 years after diagnosis, if the patient is a candidate for surgery or systemic therapy. Chest x-rays, CBCs, and liver function tests are not recommended, and molecular or cellular markers should not influence the surveillance strategy based on available evidence.

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